jim_leaviss_100

Author profile

Jim Leaviss

Years in the bond markets: 21

Specialist subjects: Macro economics and fixed interest asset allocation

Likes: Cycling, factory records, dim sum

Heroes: Brian Clough, Morrissey, Neil Armstrong

Competition winners: 10 copies of Diane Coyle’s GDP: A Brief but Affectionate History

Diane Coyle came in to talk about her study of the history of Gross Domestic Product a couple of weeks ago. You can watch a short interview we did with her here. We also offered you a chance to win a copy of her book, and we had over 60 correct answers to this question: he’s regarded as one of the creators of modern GDP statistics, but in 1934 he told Congress that “the welfare of a nation can …

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An interview with Diane Coyle: GDP A Brief but Affectionate History. And win a copy of the book.

GDP image

One of my favourite economic reads of 2014 was Diane Coyle’s book about an economic statistic – GDP. Whilst monarchs had been trying to take inventories of the national wealth since the Doomsday Book and earlier (so they could tax it!), the idea that you should rigorously measure economic activity is under one hundred years old. But the concept of Gross Domestic Product has now become central …

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Long US Treasury bonds are overvalued by 250 bps. Discuss.

As we started 2014 the US Treasury market was expecting 10 year yields to be at 4.13% in a decade’s time. This 10 year 10 year forward yield, derived from the yield curve, is a good measure of where the bond market believes yields get to if you “look through the cycle”, and disregard short term economic trends and noise. I wrote about it here and suggested that we were approaching the top of th…

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The 2014 Bond Vigilantes Christmas Quiz – the answers and this year’s champion

Thanks for another huge haul of entries to the Bond Vigilantes Christmas Quiz.  Three people got full marks (20 points plus the bonus half mark for spotting the Goldhawk Road rail bridge), but the first out of the hat was Marton Huebler of Fidelity Worldwide Investment.  Congratulations – we’ll be in touch to find out where you’d like us to make the charitable donation to.  You’ll also get the …

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Bretton Woods competition winners: 15 signed copies of Ed Conway’s The Summit go to…

The following 15 people correctly answered that President Richard Nixon effectively ended the Bretton Woods era in 1971 by suspending the convertibility of the US dollar into gold.  Thanks everyone for entering – we will contact the winners by email to arrange delivery of the book.  If you didn’t win, why not try the Bond Vigilantes Christmas Quiz

  1. Frank Markey – Wells Fargo
  2. Doug Brodie – Maste…
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M&G Bond Vigilantes Christmas Quiz 2014

Here is the 8th annual Christmas Quiz. 20 questions, and the closing date for entries is midday on Tuesday 23rd December. Please email your answers to us at bondvigilantes@mandg.co.uk. The winner will get to choose a charity to which we will donate £200. He or she will also get a copy of “Anger is an Energy”, John Lydon’s new autobiography. Four runners up will also get a copy of the book. Good…

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The Chinese corporate bond market – a video

I was in Hong Kong a couple of weeks ago to find out more about the Chinese corporate bond market. To start with it’s huge, and growing rapidly. But it comes with some well-known challenges – the large weighting towards property debt, the lack of information about issuers (ratings tend to be done only by the domestic ratings agency), and perhaps most worryingly the issue of structural subordina…

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An interview with Ed Conway: The Summit, the story of Bretton Woods. And win a signed copy of the book.

Last week, Sky’s Ed Conway came in to talk about his brilliant book “The Summit”, the story behind the Bretton Woods conference that tried to organise the structure of the global economy in the aftermath of the Second World War, and enshrined the dominance of the US dollar as the world’s currency.

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The conference took place as the war was still raging, both in Europe in the weeks after D-Day, a…

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“A grip on the public finances”. Redeeming war loans as UK borrowing rises.

As you know, we’ve always been fascinated by the UK’s War Loans and have written about them repeatedly on this blog (here’s what we wrote in 2011 when we suggested that they should be redeemed). Bonds and war go together hand in hand, and for most of history rising government debt levels have been directly caused by the cost of financing conflicts, or the reparations afterwards. The several out…

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The Signal and the Noise – why local weather forecasters get it wrong, and what it means for those big market calls

I’ve finally got round to reading Nate Silver’s The Signal and the Noise. It’s a brilliant analysis of why forecasts are often so poor, from the man who called every state correctly in the 2012 US presidential election. In short, predictions are often poor because they are too precise (asserting an absolute outcome rather than assigning probabilities to outcomes); there’s often a bias to overwe…

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